The 33rd annual Raymond Parade is starting Easter Sunday celebrations a little early this year.
The parade, scheduled for Saturday, April 20, has added a “huge Easter egg hunt” to its festivities.
Kids will have a number of other activities at the event to look forward to, including stick horse races, steer roping dummies and a bounce house.
But before the kids can start egg hunting, the community will first gather at noon to watch their town honored in the parade, where at least 50 entries will show off their “community spirit” and highlight local organizations, non-profits or businesses, said Susan Larsen, president of the Raymond Community Association.
“We keep it pretty simple. Folks come out from all the local communities to share the day, get together to see and visit with old friends, and enjoy the parade,” Larsen said.
This year’s central theme is “Celebrating a Small Town with a Big Heart.”
“Raymond is a such a warm, caring and welcoming town – and for those who are lucky enough to live here, it provides a true sense of place,” Larsen said. “Raymond is not just a town, but a community, and the annual Raymond Parade is an event that really brings everyone together and helps make the community members closer.”
Every parade honors one of the community’s own for their contributions by naming them grand marshal. This year’s recipient is 67-year-old Carol Fulmer Saulsbury, who has resided in Raymond nearly all her life.
Both of her parents were named grand marshals when she was younger and Saulsbury has kept the legacy alive, with her becoming heavily involved around Raymond, specifically the Raymond Community Association and the Raymond Museum.
“It just makes me feel real good,” she said of being named grand marshal. “I was born and raised here. My mom and dad came here in the 1920s, so Raymond’s a part of my life.”
After the parade, along with the activities at the Kids Korner, there will be museum tours, cultural demonstrations, a big raffle, silent auction, arts and crafts, non-profit booths, live country music and plenty of food.
The cultural demonstrations will be led by Lois Conner Bohna, also known as “The Acorn Lady” of the Mono Tribe. Bohna is an artist who works to preserve her Mono culture through demonstrations of basketry and tools.
There are still openings to walk in the parade or be one of the vendors there. Parade entries cost $15 for two people and $25 for groups of three or larger. Booths are $25.
All proceeds from the parade go to the Raymond Community Association Scholarship Fund, which provides two $500 scholarships each to Mariposa High, Minarets High and Yosemite High schools.